Dzióbek Strikes Again
The Dragoons penultimate game before the winter break saw a long journey to play against 6th placed Szreniawa Koszyce. After the midweek fixture against FC United of Manchester, Hugo Cruz made five changes to his line up and reverted back to a four-man defence.
Marcin Obyrtacz started in goal once again as Simon Calabrese came into the side for the suspended Kuba Drobny. Szymon Urzędowski slotted in at right-back, replacing Roman Bilovol, whilst Sasha Arshakian and Salah Missi continued.
A much changed midfield saw a return for Rob Smits to partner Rohit Chandran and Enrico Forabosco in the middle as Brian Lemmen, Corneille Malonga and Keanu Solomons dropped from the squad for this fixture.
In attack, Martin Voženílek kept his place wide right, with Vałdzis Fuhaš starting on the left flank as Alessio Sassini completed the first XI in a central position.
Kick Off – Warning Signs
As the game approached kick off the Dragoons soon realised they would have their work cut out with Kazimierz Dzióbek officiating the game. The referee previous “officiated” the Dragoons 6-2 loss at Bieżanowianka, spoiling the final game of last season. After several bizarre incidents in the game, the Expats requested never to see Dzióbek in charge of their matches again. Unfortunately, here he appeared once again and it got even worse…
To give the hosts more of an advantage, Dzióbek had Tymoteusz Kraska on the side line. Kraska had previously been in charge against Michałowice, giving them an 87th minute penalty, after Arshakian had fouled an opponent 5 metres outside the box!
Prior to kick-off, Dzióbek hilariously warned captain Forabosco that any swearing in any language will result in a card in a remarkable display of double standards.
In The Official’s Script
Amazingly, it took only two minutes for the first game-changing incident of the game to occur. The Dragoons gifted possession to the opposition and they immediately looked to get the ball down the right flank. Sasha Arshakian did well initially, however the hosts worked the ball to the Jack Grealish lookalike Dawid Dziadana.
The Szreniawa number 10 tricked his way past Martin Voženílek before hitting an effort at goal. It looked like comfortable work for Marcin Obyrtacz, however the ball squirmed through his legs and dribbled towards goal. Thankfully, the Dragoons keeper recovered to smother the ball on the goal-line to prevent embarrassment… or not. Despite no celebrations from the hosts, including Mateusz Wątek right next to the incident, the aforementioned Kraska erected his flag to signal a goal! The Dragoons protested against the decision to Dzióbek, who gleefully pointed to the centre circle. A goal down, against 13 men, the Expats had it all to do.
Into the 10th minute, the Expats created their first noteworthy opportunity of the half. Good play getting the ball forward saw the visitors win a corner. Enrico Forabosco put the ball into the box and it rather bounced off Alessio Sassini’s dome and over the crossbar.
Chances At Both Ends
Two minutes later, the hosts had a good chance to double their lead. A quick attack saw the ball at the feet of Dziadana, who bore down on the Dragoons goal. On this occasion, the Dragoons survived as the Szreniawa dangerman dragged his attempt wide of the target.
Slowly, the Dragoons began to turn the screw and created their best chance on 19 minutes. Good front-line pressure saw the Dragoons on the front-foot in the host’s half. An exquisite touch by Sassini saw Fuhaš upended in the box and play continued. Szreniawa failed to get the ball out of their own half and it came straight back at them with Missi charging forward. The Algerian poked the ball through to Sassini, who turned well and struck a fierce shot at goal that called Mateusz Groniecki into action for the first time. The keeper dived to his right and sent the ball out for a corner, which came to nothing.
The hosts showed their danger straight after, as a long throw caught the Dragoons short. Dziadana exhibited tidy footwork to work a shooting chance for himself. The ball bounced horribly in front of Obytacz, but this time the keeper got down well to deny the chance.
In Your Face Dzióbek
Almost immediately down the other end, the Expats went on the offensive to score a 21st minute equaliser. Good pressing from Sassini saw the Italian work hard to win the ball back just inside the Szreniawa half. Sassini nudged the ball to Smits who immediately clipped the ball over the defence to find Fuhaš in on goal. Kazimierz Dzióbek cocked his leg as Fuhaš went through, looking desperately at the official on the opposing side for an offside, as the Dragoons winger delicately lifted the ball over the advancing Groniecki to net his first goal of the season, leaving the referee no choice but to give the goal.
Szreniawa looked to immediately go back in front and a cross into the Dragoons box caused chaos. Arshakian missed his kick to clear the ball and it bounced into the feet of Wątek inside the area. The attacker eventually managed to toe the ball towards the Dragoons goal, but a good block by Urzędowski sent it wide for a corner.
The Dragoons Go Ahead
Both sides went on the counter to no avail until the 26th minute as the Expats took the lead. A throw forward into the Expats half saw Salah Missi make an interception and play it forward to Sassini. Neat triangle passing saw Forabosco float a long-pass into the channel to find the rampaging Missi, who had continued his run.
The Algerian laid the ball into Sassini, who drove into the box and saw his attempted cross divert back into the left-back’s path. Missi dropped a shoulder before sending a vicious shot that came off the arm of a defender, with the ball dropping back to the left-back who thundered it back across goal where Sassini lay in wait. The striker managed to control the ball and slammed it triumphantly into the net for 2-1. The hosts appealed to the referee for a hand-ball from the Italian, but the goal amazingly stood!
At the half hour point, a late tackle on Voženílek gave the Dragoons a free-kick within shooting distance. The incoming shot swerved wickedly through the air and forced Groniecki to fly across his goal. It looked like the net would bulge, however, the keeper got the tip of his fingers to the ball and pushed it against the bar. Kudos to the keeper for an exceptional save!
Szreniawa failed to get the danger away from their box as Dziadana attempted to round Forabosco. The Italian clearly won the ball in the tackle but a sharp blast of the whistle by Dzióbek saw a soft free-kick given.
The following free-kick landed straight to the chest of Chandran, who put a good pass down the line to Voženílek. The Czech winger hurdled a challenge to find Rob Smits inside the box unmarked. The usually lethal Dutchman missed his first attempt to shoot as the ball hit his standing leg, but Smits had a second bite of the cherry and looked certain to score only for Groniecki to make another excellent stop.
End to end football followed with both sides getting numbers forward and again the Dragoons came closest. A great cross-field pass from Fuhaš found Sassini on the edge of the box. The Italian took the ball out of the air well, but drove his shot just wide of the post.
Szreniawa Level The Game
Moments after, a catalogue of errors from the Dragoons lead to the hosts grabbing an equaliser in the 41st minute. The Expats sloppily gave the ball away and found themselves short at the back. Dawid Dziadana danced down the left and crossed towards the back post where his team outnumbered the visitors. The ball dropped to Przemek Bysiński on the by-line, who crossed back across goal to pick out Kamil Wiącek, who took advantage of woeful marking to calmly stroke the ball into the net. The Expats could have no complaints about the goal as poor play allowed the hosts back into the game.
Almost straight from kick-off the Dragoons created a good scoring chance in their attempt to retake the lead. Good interchanging football from the Expats saw Voženílek and Sassini work well with the Czech sending a cross into the box. The ball landed straight onto the head of Smits who guided an effort towards goal, only to be denied by another flying save by Groniecki.
The Dragoons Concede a Third
Just as the clock ticked into the 45th minute, Szreniawa scored a third goal to go back into the lead. The hosts broke quickly leaving the Dragoons rear guard short of bodies. An overload on the left wing saw the Expats stand off the dangerous Dziadana on the flank. The Dragoons allowed the attacker time and space to cut onto his right foot in an attempt to put the ball into the box. The ball sailed over the head of his teammates but caught Obyrtacz napping as it zipped up off the turf and nestled into the bottom corner of the net past the keeper to make it 3-2.
The half ended moments later with the Dragoons behind owing to a dodgy first minute goal given by the officials and poor defending. It had been a typical performance by the visitors who found Groniecki in fine fettle between the Szreniawa posts. Once again, the Expats had not taken a couple of glorious chances and defensive lapses saw Szreniawa take theirs. It had been an even first half, with the Dragoons knowing they needed to do better.
A quick start to the second half saw the Dragoons strike back with an instant equaliser. Smits and Voženílek combined well to win the Expats an early corner kick. Forabosco curled the ball towards the near post where Voženílek found himself unmarked. The Czech flicked a near post header towards goal and the ball sailed past Groniecki and landed into the corner of the net for 3-3!
The game took on a scrappy feel as the minutes ticked by. Neither side could keep possession for long nor keep the ball in threatening areas. Szreniawa sent a couple of free-kicks over the Dragoons bar but 15 minutes passed by without incident.
Dragoons Create A Chance
Into the 66th minute however, the Dragoons fashioned the best opportunity of the half bar the equalising goal. Forabosco exchanged passes with Sassini and looped the ball over the home defence to find Rob Smits. It failed to sit kindly for the Dutchmeester however, who hooked the ball towards goal but saw it drop wide of the mark.
With 20 minutes of the game to play, Obyrtacz had his hands stung for the first time in the half. Dziadana twisted and turned through the Expats box and saw a shot blocked by the defence. The rebound fell kindly to a fellow attacker and the incoming shot forced Obyrtacz to palm the ball wide.
Following the corner, the Dragoons made their first changes of the game as Arshakian, Urzędowski and Voženílek made way for Flavio Nkola, Josh Dawson and Francesco Leuci.
Have To Score Those
Nkola found himself immediately involved chasing the ball down the left wing. A poor kick by Groniecki saw the ball land at Forabosco, who looked up and passed into Sassini in acres of space. Rather than take a touch, the Italian took the shot on early and rolled a glorious opportunity past the post.
On 79 minutes, a blatant dive had Dzióbek pleasuring his whistle like a porn star’s phallus for the umpteenth time. The incoming free-kick into the box saw shocking marking once again by the Expats as Krystian Zuwała hung a header across goal. The ball found two opponents free with Wiącek attempting an audacious bicycle kick that dropped kindly for Obyrtacz to gather.
Off The Bar!
Four minutes later, the Expats spurned another chance to go into the lead. A poor pass by Szreniawa put Nkola in possession and running at goal. The winger unselfishly passed to Sassini to put the striker through on goal, but the ball bobbled horribly off the surface and looked to be getting away from as he struck at goal. The attacker lifted his eventual shot against the crossbar and out of play from close range. A really big opportunity missed for the Expats.
The Expats Go Behind
The Dragoons would be made to pay in the 85th minute as they conceded a desperately poor goal. With substitute Ayoub Chardal in possession, an attempted cross hit a defender, bounced off Missi’s head and back to the defender as Chardal slipped on his backside and the hosts broke away on the counter. Szreniawa breached a disorganised back-line to put the dangerous Dziadana through with just Obyrtacz to beat. The excellent “Poundland” Grealish made light work of Calabrese, turning the defender inside out before lifting the ball over Obyrtacz’s outstretched arm to score his hat-trick.
Here We Go Again
With just two minutes on the clock, fortune smiled on the Dragoons to grab an equaliser… or so they thought. A punt forward by the Expats saw substitute Yuri Samyonov touch the ball into Nkola. The Angolan put an exploratory forward pass into the box with Sassini the target. Groniecki left his line to chase the ball with a defender running at it at the same time with the Italian striker in hot pursuit. The defender lost his footing and collided with the keeper, making him spill the ball straight to Sassini for tap in into an unguarded net. The Italian wheeled away in celebration as Dzióbek pointed back to the middle of the pitch to confirm the goal.
The Szreniawa players herded like cattle around Dzióbek, as the faces on the home bench gave away the real story. When the Dragoons did the same against Bieżanowianka, Dzióbek exploded with cards. But after a full minute of protestations by the hosts, the referee walked over to discuss the decision with Kraska on the side line. The official on the line had not flagged at all and could never have had a better field of vision than the referee himself. Remarkably, the officials came to the decision to overrule the goal with Sassini judged to have fouled the defender.
Chaos ensued as Hugo Cruz saw red for entering the pitch and Sassini also saw red for venting his frustrations rather vehemently at the linesman. Dzióbek continued his card frenzy ejaculating yellows to Rob Smits and Enrico Forabosco with the Dragoons furious at the decision.
The game ended not long after with the Dragoons completely enraged at being denied a point with the finger pointed at curious officiating.
Sometimes there are just no words to describe the scenes witnessed on Sunday. The Dragoons are their own worst enemies when it comes to losing games. However, the Expats will usually take the defeat on the chin as they have done most times this season.
But when decisions are as bad as the ones committed by the officials in this game, questions have to be asked whether it is a fair playing field. Especially when both officials have a chequered history of poor decisions against the Expats. The Dragoons stand for equality and fairness, but there seems to be some undertone to the treatment of the club by Kazimierz Dzióbek and Tymoteusz Kraska. It is understood that human error can happen and appreciate it is not an easy job, however, some of the decisions by the pair against the Dragoons borders satire. One muses that it just cannot be a coincidence that games involving the pair descend into farce!
All the Dragoons ask for is consistency with decisions and explanation for decisions rather than receiving yellow or red cards. Football is an emotive game and it leaves a bitter taste, as the fun & enjoyment of the beautiful game is removed when such decisions spoilt the outcome of the result. Dragoons players commented after the game, what is the point in continuing when the playing field does not appear even?
To finalise, pure and simply, missed opportunities and poor defending is really harming the team at the moment. Should the Dragoons have taken their chances, it would have been a different game, even with the interventions of the clown princes in the middle and the side-line. The same errors in defence keep repeating themselves and the team need to learn quickly.
LKS Czarni 03 Grzegorzowice are the Dragoons next opponents in the final match before the winter break. Both sides are level on 14 points with the Dragoons holding a higher 8th position owing to goal difference.
Created in 2003, the side have been a constant feature in Klasa A for the past 12 years. Their best ever finishes in the league came in 2013/14 and 2014/15 finishing as runners up. Recent years have seen Grzegorzowice finish in mid-table and last season saw the side finish 9th, a position they currently occupy in the table this term.
It will be the first meeting between the two sides and despite being a home fixture for the Dragoons, the game will be played at Grzegorzowice’s home pitch.